Montana man sentenced for illegal shed hunting
A Montana man was recently sentenced for illegally shed hunting on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Joshua Anders Rae was convicted of a felony Lacey Act charge along with federal misdemeanor probation violations for the April 2021 incident that occurred just outside Jackson, Wyoming, according to a press release.
During the investigation, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement discovered that Rae collected sheds outside of the legal dates at night, violating the winter range closure in place to protect deer and elk. Not only that, but he traveled “cross country a significant distance” in order to obtain the sheds prior to opening day of shed season.
Rae is the owner/operator of “Old West Antlers,” which is an online elk antler dog chew retailer. Approximately 44 pounds of the illegally collected antlers were cut into shorter sections and sold through his business. He had previously been convicted of the same offence in 2019, which resulted in a $15,000 restitution fee and five-year ban from entering the National Elk Refuge, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks along with a five-year probation period and five-year worldwide ban on hunting. Obviously, he violated these terms; hence, the additional federal misdemeanor probation charges.
The 2021 investigation also found that Rae hadn’t paid any of the restitution on the 2019 case. Rae pleaded guilty on all charges and was sentenced to 90 days of home confinement, five years of supervised felony probation, a five-year ban from entering federal public lands and a five-year ban on hunting in all states that honor the interstate wildlife violator compact.
Do you think the punishment fits the crime?